Communication is one of life’s most fundamental joys, yet one often taken for granted until it is lost or fails to develop. Yet for millions of children each year, the skills that encompass communication stall or do not emerge at all. Even a mild disorder or temporary interruption in development can have long-term effects and results in serious and far-reaching deficits that touch every aspect of a child’s life. Each year, millions of children and their families join the ranks of those who are navigating a life they never expected, and frequently feel they are unable to take on.
While it is critical to address the child’s deficits with supports and specific interventions, it is equally important to directly address the impact on the family, from the marital relationship to the well-being of siblings. With a warm and compassionate approach, Suzanne Ducharme provides parents with comprehensive information about speech and language development and the intervention process, but also delves deeply into the fears, concerns, and questions that every parent faces when something goes wrong. She provides families with information and resources, but also support and perspective. Using real stories throughout, Ducharme is able to illustrate the range of difficulties, challenges, and triumphs of families who love and support children with speech and language issues.
Ducharme’s guidebook delivers on the promise of its parent series, Whole Family Approaches to Childhood Illnesses and Disorders. The compassionate, knowledgeable author, who has spent more than two decades as a pediatric speech and language pathologist, reassuringly spells out the issues for parents whose kids will experience lifelong challenges related to a communications disorder, Ducharme’s own child among them. Some advice may seem obvious, if important, such as 'sleep, water and good nutrition are critical to the health and success of both you and your child.' But overall, Ducharme provides specific, high-quality tips. For example, she includes a table that shows the sounds most kids learn at different ages. Mastery of r can take up to eight years, and children with a strong Boston accent may never get it right at the end of words. She ends with an excellent list of resources, including the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. This empowering, can-do look at a category of disorders that can affect as many as 1 in 10 children is an excellent addition to practical health collections. (Booklist)
Childhood Speech and Language Disorders provides families with information and resources, but also support and perspective. Using real stories throughout, Ducharme is able to illustrate the range of difficulties, challenges, and triumphs of families who love and support children with speech and language issues. Enhanced with the inclusion of two appendices (Speech Sound Development; Channeling Your Emotions), a four page list of Resources, four pages of Notes, a four page Bibliography, and a four page Index, Childhood Speech and Language Disorders: Supporting Children and Families on the Path to Communication is the latest addition to the outstanding Whole Family Approaches to Childhood Illnesses and Disorders series from Rowman & Littlefield. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, Childhood Speech and Language Disorders is especially appropriate for non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject, as well as very highly recommended for both community and academic library Family & Relationship collections in general, and Childhood Learning Disorders supplemental studies reading lists in particular. (Midwest Book Review)
This emotionally compelling book illustrates the value of a speech-language pathologist’s role in facilitating effective communication but also demonstrates the caring and compassionate side of such a helping profession as described by Ducharme. Parents (and others interested in speech-language pathology) will benefit highly from this informative book. (Brian B. Shulman, PhD, CCC-SLP, ASHA Fellow, BCS-CL, FASAHP, Professor of Speech-Language Pathology, School of Health and Medical Sciences; Professor of Pediatrics, Seton Hall-Hackensack School of Medicine)
Suzanne Ducharme’s book is a “must have” for families and professionals. The book provides talking points that are current, purposeful, and easy to follow. The family oriented approach is both smart and sustainable. Ducharme’s valuable experience is captured on every page providing the reader with generous insight from her outstanding clinical career with children and parents. (Charlena Seymour, Phd, Former President American Speech Language Hearing Association)
Suzanne’s fine-tuned clinical skills in conjunction with her deep love of her patients and their families are evident in this book. While thorough and informative this book reads as a candid dialogue between a compassionate practitioner and parents seeking guidance in navigating the world of speech and language acquisition. Her extensive knowledge and experience in the area of child language development and disorders helped to shape a book that is an all-encompassing reference guide for parents. (Sharla Marcotte, MS, CCC-SLP, Beth-Israel Deaconess Hospital at Plymouth)
Ducharme's book has a conversational style that guides and informs parents. She frames the therapeutic relationship as one in which professionals serve as guides for families. Our role as pediatric speech-language pathologists/ audiologists is to empower parents so that intervention is family centered and happens continuously. This book is invaluable for families and providers. (Mary Ellen Curran, AuD, CCC-A, Audiologist and Trainer, Rexton)
Suzanne M. Ducharme, MS CCC-SLP is a licensed and American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) certified Speech Language Pathologist with 20 years of experience working with children with a range of complex medical and developmental challenges. Suzanne has specialized experience working with feeding and swallowing, early language development and speech disorders. Suzanne is the owner and master clinician of Lifespan Healing, an innovative clinical practice that combines traditional SLP services with Craniosacral therapy, Reiki and other alternative healing modalities that support children with special needs and their families. Suzanne has extensive experience in educating and coaching parents, helping them to become better communication partners and advocates for their children. Suzanne has done presentations on the local, state and national level covering a range of topics, and she has been active in her professional community, serving as Massachusetts Speech-Language Hearing Association (MSHA) president from 2007-2010 and on several ASHA committees. Currently, Suzanne sits on the Board of Licensure for Speech Language Pathology and Audiology in Massachusetts.